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HAP's, 9mm seating depth, and Me

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by JD Fla1, Sep 9, 2021.

  1. JD Fla1

    JD Fla1 Member

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    So, loading up my first batch, actually my first 9mm. load, of Hornady 125g. HAP @ .356 diameter bullets.
    off press priming, on a Lee auto breech lock pro.
    I'm belling case mouth just enough, with the Lee powder thru expanding die, die position is over the ram, then pour powder thru the die, powder is half the case height at most.
    Next, The Redding comp. seating die, is located behind ram, I've made a dozen dummies before hand, to get used to the feel of it and set its height.
    I can't seem to dial it in and keep a consistent coal. target is 1.060 - 1.069 acc. to book.
    I get anywhere's from 1.055 on a few to 1.070.
    I'm using the B.L.Pro locking bushings, which "seems" OK.

    Later - I moved the seater die to position over the ram, and I still get variations.

    Is this because of the .356 diameter bullet? This exact bullet is not in any of my reloading manuals, but it does seem like a popular one.
    I know that this bullet gets squeezed, and it shows when I remove the bullet from cases that I test sized.
    I have the Hornady comparator set, but I didn't use it, I though the comparators use was mainly for rifle bullets.
    I think I could accept a deviation of .003-4 but not .01
    any comments are welcome -

    other - I do need to use the Lee F>C>die to bring bullet into a case gauge, and to slightly crimp the bullet.
    other - My rifle rounds get loaded on my T7.
    another other - save these for my .38 special loads
     
  2. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Something is wong, that's way to big of a variation, a .005 spread is more like it, not .020.
     
  3. lordpaxman

    lordpaxman Member

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    It’s not because of the diameter of the bullet. The HAP is very similar to their XTP without the skiving marks. Could you clarify what you mean by “squeezed”? The HAP is a jacketed bullet, it takes a lot to indent it, but perhaps you’re seeing scratch marks?
    What seating stem are you using, as the nose of this bullet can be deformed and if you’re measuring tip to base it can be difficult to get an accurate measurement. Also, I’ve seen a bit of spring back when seating these depending on the brass, are these mixed HS? If you can use the comparator maybe you can verify seating depth in the case is ok, as you’re at a very short COL and going shorter is not advisable. Good luck.
     
  4. JD Fla1

    JD Fla1 Member

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    I'm just getting back in from work. I'll snap a pic of the squeezed bullets, and yes, they are mixed h.s.
     
  5. Professor Gascan

    Professor Gascan Member

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    I use a Lee ablp and if I'm reading your post correctly you have the expander die over the ram in position 1?

    I believe the #1 slot should be the sizing die as It's the only one that actually contacts the shell plate at the top of the stroke, it acts as a consistent stop to get repeatable results from the other stations.

    I sort my brass and run the same headstamps and get my oal consistency to .0035. I also use pre primed brass as the on press priming seems to be it's biggest weak spot, I just removed the decapping pin from the sizing die.
     
  6. tightgroup tiger

    tightgroup tiger Member

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    I agree with this. Old hard brass vs nice soft young brass mixed together, will give you fits every time. Especially with mixed head stamps and soft nosed hollowpoint bullets.
    Are you using a flat nose profile in your seating die?

    I've deformed jacketed bullets by seating them in nasty old brass that didn't want to conform. Brass I should have thrown out because it sized to hard.
    It takes to much pressure to seat the bullet, so the sides bulge out a little instead of the bullets going deeper, then the brass retaliates when the die is lifted, by the sides retracting back in and the OAL grows in length.

    But the only time I ever got that kind of OAL difference was when I was loading XTPs with a flat profile in the seating die instead of the cupped profile that fits the entire nose of the bullet. That was a long time ago but if I remember correctly, my problem was I was shortening the bullet by flattening the nose of the bullet in the harder to seat cases. The nose of the bullet won't spring back, it stays deformed.
    In the softer cases the bullet didn't flatten any and the length stayed in specs.
    Sometimes the flattened end isn't obvious until you look for it.

    And you would think the finished round should be seated to the same length any ways because the press is stroking the same every time regardless of the brass, but old nasty hard brass, no matter how shiny you make it, is still old nasty hard brass and you can't defeat the spring back of it unless you have a way of sorting it out. No one anneals 9mm brass.

    I try to pick them out when I sizing the brass by picking out the ones that size hard and pitching them. But I still get some now and then.

    So check the seating profile on the seating stem of your Redding die, to see how close it matches the nose of the Hap bullet, also make sure your not over crimping the case. You should just be straightening out the flare your flaring die put on it.
     
  7. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I am assuming you are sizing the case?

    The Redding die is only a seater, you are not applying any crimp and the bullets are getting swaged smaller?

    How about some photos?
     
  8. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    If your using a flat top bullet seat with a wadcutter stem and see how much better or worse it is.
     
  9. mdi

    mdi Member

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    faux pas... :oops:
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2021
  10. mdi

    mdi Member

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    For a newer reloader; about 40 years ago I learned to make sure the case heads were ding/burr free and all primers were below flush. Turret press? Not sure about "behind ram" or "over the ram". With good consistent bullets, I'd look at brass, seating stem/die (clean?), press condition (shell holders/plates, ram to frame fit) and recheck methods (reread die mfg instructions on die adgustment), in that order. I have never had any Hornady bullets that were "out of tolerence" enough to cause seating problems...
     
    JD Fla1 likes this.
  11. JD Fla1

    JD Fla1 Member

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    sorry for the delayed reponse on all of your responses on trying to help me out.- and Thank You...
    I decap firstly separate, then wash, then size and flare separate of each other, in batches, .then tumble wash again -
    My brass is once fired range mixed up brass h.s., no nato stuff.
    just using the a.b.l.pro to seat.and use the f.c.d.
    I think I may have slightly, - just slightly over crimped, and it's causing a visible deformation of the bullet, as witnessed only by me pulling the bullets after doing seating adjustments, on dummy loads.
    I'm going to try the seating on my T7, to see if that helps. Otherwise, it could be the difference in neck tension between different cases, as mentioned here.
    I am using a Mighty Armory TNT sizing die, and their flare die on the B.L.P. as the first process.
    The second process is the seating,, crimping.
    The Redding comp seating die looks to have nice stem which cups around the bullet down low on the round portion, and its not rocking around, I can noticed a very slight ring around the bullet after the seating.
    Bullets can not be forced inward afterwards , without beating on them. These probably don't even need a crimp, but I thought it may me good just to make sure the slight flare was tightened up.
    Probably with the .356 bullet and with just running the round into the f.c.d. to remove the slight bulge should be good, stopping short of appling the crimp. If I don't put the round through the crimp die, it will not fit my gauges.
    Am I heading the right way ?
     
  12. CoalCrackerAl

    CoalCrackerAl Member

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    Im confused lol. Sounds like your making loading into a major project. Sounds like your using a mix match of dies? I use cheap lee dies for my 9mm including the FCD. I load mostly cast. And they work fine. The FCD did help with some tight chamber issues on some of my guns. My 92 and one Walther.
     
    JD Fla1 likes this.
  13. JD Fla1

    JD Fla1 Member

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    I wouldn't think using different dies, constitutes being a major project.
    It happens to be what I have, and during this so-called pandemic mess, a lot of parts are/were hard to come by.
     
  14. CoalCrackerAl

    CoalCrackerAl Member

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    Are you running the press as a progressive? Or as a single stage? Progressive mode is not a good idea for a beginner. I wasn't referring to the mix match dies as being a major project. Sounds like you over thinking things. It is hard to decipher without being there with you to see though.
     
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  15. JD Fla1

    JD Fla1 Member

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    The Lee auto breech lock pro is a progressive with 4 stations. I use just 1 or 2 of the stations at a time, such as just decapping, or size and flare. I love the collating case feeder, it can really help with speed with pistol cartridges.
    I'm using a Redding T7 turret for the seating and crimp operation in my rifle rounds, because of its stout nature, and accuracy.
    I was tryng to use the Lee to do my 9mm seat and crimp, and yes, I am fairly new into this, and am trying new things. That Lee should be able to do it, but I guess its got a learning curve, and I'm trying to be too precise.
     
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  16. CoalCrackerAl

    CoalCrackerAl Member

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    I started out with the Lee loaders in 9mm and 45 acp. The pounding got old quick lol. I bought the Lee C shape press then. Ran with 2 of them for a long time. Then i got the Lee classic cast turret. It's one of my favorite presses. I do all my pistol and small rifle on it, 223 and im going to do 7.62x39 on it possibly. I do the rest of my rifle on my Lyman brass smith turret. I sold my Lee C shape presse's. I have a Lee O shaped breech lock and a RCBS press i use for some utility work. And 2 Lee APP presses for mass de-capping. But keep working at it. You will get it down. Never get complacent. That is when mistakes happen. There is always something to learn. I just did yesterday. I was having some hard extraction with my 30.06. Here the casings where starting to develop case head separation. Usually the necks split when a case is shot.
     
    JD Fla1 likes this.
  17. ballman6711

    ballman6711 Member

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    Forgive me if I'm misunderstanding, but you size and flare your brass, and then tumble wash again (wet tumble I assume)? Are you then lubing the inside of the case before seating the bullet?

    Sounds like your brass may be TOO clean, and creating too much resistance/friction when seating which creates your OAL variations. I would try a few without the second cleaning.

    chris
     
  18. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    Why would you seat bullets on the lee and then crimp on the heavy duty press???? If you have strait cases seating is the most crucial step to making strait ammo. If your sizing die is good and set up well. I just dont understand the ideas your operating on, the presses being irrelevant to this.
     
  19. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    Most bullets are polished to keep them shiny a small amount of wax is used to keep them that way. That's all the lube I have ever needed in pistol loads.
     
    Ironicaintit likes this.
  20. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    I just started loading 9mm Luger this year, after reloading for 50 years. Using range brass & home cast bullets, i cant understand why so many new reloaders have problems?? :thumbdown:

    Bad choice of dies? :confused: This new 2021 RCBS set is all thats needed. :) Load & shoot. No gauge to check reloaded ammo. Two Taurus G3C have run perfectly with 4 different powders. :cool: Wspm.

    https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?media/albums/9mm-luger-taurus-g3c-lee-356-120-tc.317/

    Sorry no help. Just venting. :rofl:

    View attachment 1025231
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2021
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  21. mdi

    mdi Member

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    My first thought is "overthinking" K.I.S.S. Forget the FCD, these often cause problems for newer reloaders. I'd suggest seating all bullets (and measuring OAL) in one step, then deflare in a second step. Also simplify your process; clean brass once,size/deprime, flare, charge, seat, deflare and inspect, and plunk test. (and use fewer abbreviations in your posts.abi?, TNT?, B.L.P.?). Plunk test because cartridge gauges are min. SAAMI spec and as often as not, too tight. When I started reloading semi-auto ammo (45 ACP in '96) I thought I needed a gauge, but it caused me more trouble than it's worth. Asked a friend and his reply was "do they fit your gun?". Took the barrel out of my 1911 and tried/plunked about 50 rounds. All plunked quite well. Put the gauge away, somewhere. I have loaded many, many 45 ACP for 3 different guns, many 9mm for 4 guns, and some 32 ACP and 380 ACP all using the same method with mostly Lee dies (NO FCD!) and no problems for several years...
     
    Dwb1957, AJC1 and Maintenancan8193 like this.
  22. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    I use a fcd now because I can leave my seating die and crimp die set. I use the same bullet every time now so adjusting is no longer necessary. Before using the fcd I had to pull my seating stem and lower my rcbs seating die to crimp. Really enjoy having two dies, as I have since early on separated those two steps.
     
  23. JD Fla1

    JD Fla1 Member

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    Can't get out to my reloading area this weekend. Kids are in town for my B.Day.
    Seems like I'm confusing some.. First, I decap mixed range brass, then clean -
    then I lube, size, trim,and finish prep, and clean again to get the lube off.
    -prime off press-
    - next step, on one press, flare w/ Lee powder through expander die, then seat, and lastly crimp w/ Lee FCD.. and its on the Lee auto breech lock pro where I'm getting the inconsistency of oal. using the Redding Comp. seater, and the 125g. HAP bullets.(.356dia,)
    my feelings > I'm needing to tune that seater die and maybe remove the spring, or maybe I just have to move the whole last process to the T7 press. (means, I may buy another T7 turret head, as it's now filled with my rifle dies.)
    I have another seater die, I may try that one also. :confused:
     
  24. mdi

    mdi Member

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    I usually use my Lee seating die and deflare with an RCBS taper crimp die. No adjusting necessarey...The only FCD I tried i wound up punching the carbide ring out. Reloading for 4, semi-auto calibers and 5 revolver calibers I have never needed to post cri resize any...(I cannot remember any failures to feed or chambering problems)
     
  25. lordpaxman

    lordpaxman Member

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    I don’t have the Redding comp seater die, so I can’t advise, but you might want to take note of the COL after the seater die and then again after the FCD. Perhaps the FCD is altering the COL. I load mixed HS and have noticed CBC brass tends to be a bit thicker where I get a more noticeable bulge and sometimes it doesn’t pass the gauge but it will chamber. I don’t use an FCD anymore, just a standard Dillon crimp die but it’s only removing the bell, not denting the bullet. You may want to back off the FCD crimp until you just remove the bell.
    If you have the other seater die, it again will at least give you a data point of how precise your seating step will be. Good luck.
     
    tightgroup tiger likes this.
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